Tips for successful planting

RudbeckiaEven though you’ve already taken the first step towards plant success by buying a top-quality plant from Fort Collins Nursery, there are a few more things you’ll want to consider to ensure proper enjoyment of your botanical experience:

  • Choose the proper location for your plant. Some plants prefer lots of sun, some prefer more shade. Some plants enjoy rich well-amended soil, others thrive in course dry soil. If you are unsure what your plant needs, contact one of our friendly staff!
  • Prepare the soil. Once you know what your plant’s soil needs are, you need to make its dreams come true.
    • For plants that prefer rich soil, mix in some compost, well-aged manure, peat moss, or a blended soil amendment. A common mistake is over-amending – more is not necessarily better! Avoid this by mixing no more than 1 part soil amendment to 4 parts native soil, even for plants that love rich soil.
    • If you are unsure what your soil is like, consider getting a Soil Test. These soil analyses are performed by the Colorado State University Soil Lab and tell you a lot about your soil that you probably never knew. They include useful information about things like nutrient levels, salt content, organic matter, and pH. Soil Tests are recommended before making any major changes to your soil, or if you have problems growing plants in a certain area and you suspect their may be something wrong with your soil. A Fort Collins Nursery expert can help you interpret the results and choose appropriate follow-up steps.
  • Use a root stimulator when planting. This can come in one of several forms. Fertilome Root Stimulator is a great liquid fertilizer. Other tried and true options include Hi-Yield Bone Meal, Hi-Yield Super Phosphate, or Age Old Organics Root Rally w/mycorrhizae. Starter fertilizers like Happy Frog Jump Start are also appropriate for new plantings. Additional fertilizers are not recommended for newly planted plants, but may be used once roots have had a chance to get established – usually a minimum of 2-3 weeks.
  • Watch your water. Your plants will need a little more water when getting established than they will need in the long run. A good rule of thumb is to check the soil around the base of the plant by sticking your finger down 2″-3″ below the surface of the soil. The soil should feel cool and moist, but not saturated, like a sponge which has had all the excess water wrung from it but still feels moist to the touch. If it is wetter than that, don’t water it yet. If it is that dry or drier, give it a drink. after a month or so in the ground, you can ease back on watering, depending on the specific plant, as it will have established some deeper roots with which it can seek out its own water.

Still have questions? Just ask! We are always ready to help you achieve success and peace of mind in all your green endeavors. You can call us at (970)482-1984 or contact us here.

Originally published on November 5th, 2013. Updated on December 5th, 2014.